1.52 m of textual records ; 3 volumes ; 80 photographs, col.
1.52 m of textual records ; 3 volumes
History / Biographical
The Elgin County 4-H Association is a regional division of 4-H Ontario. They are responsible for running selected clubs throughout the county, and each club focuses on completing a specific project over the course of at least 12 hours of instruction. Originally, clubs were focused on either homemaking or agriculture, but in modern times the clubs have expanded to include other projects, such as finances and job searches, in order to foster the personal development and responsibility of youth. At its height, Elgin County 4-H offered many clubs throughout the county, often with regional markers to distinguish them from identically-named clubs in other parts of the county (such as the West Elgin Dairy Club and the East Elgin Dairy Club), but reduced membership in modern times lead to consolidation into single, county-wide clubs.
The 4-H Program arose from agricultural roots. The idea began in the United States: in 1901, President Orwell of the Farmer’s Institute of Macoupin County, Missouri, offered a bag of seed corn to local boys with the hope of encouraging youth leadership in agriculture. 500 boys signed up for that project with the intention of displaying their produce at the 1903 St. Louis Fair. The project drew praise from educators and agricultural leaders alike
The idea came to Canada in 1913, when the Department of Agriculture donated one dozen poultry eggs, potatoes, and seed to the youth of Roland, Manitoba, with the intent of having them plant, raise, and grow them over many months. During this time they would be guided by leaders who would teach them the best ways for raising their livestock and crops. This established the basic framework used by 4-H today, which is the completion of a project by youth of a certain age, under the supervision of a leader. These were originally dubbed Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, and were headed by the Department of Agriculture.
The first recognized club in Ontario was founded by Stanley Knapp of Waterloo in 1915, and spread from there. In Elgin County, the first recorded clubs date to 1935, alongside the newly founded Homemaking division of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. Both Homemaking and Agriculture were well represented in Elgin County.
In 1952, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs were renamed to 4-H Canada (head, heart, hands, and health), and under this new moniker, the focus began to shift from goal-oriented pursuits, such as completion of projects, to the personal development of its’ members.
Starting 1985, the Homemaking and Agricultural divisions, previously separate, merged to become one entity, with John R. Lyle as president. In 1988, 4-H Ontario separated from the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs to become an independent organization.
Fonds is a collection of four separate accessions: 2017-26, 2016-07, 2013-08, and 2014-21. 2016-07 and 2013-08 were gifted by Roberta Gillard, Treasurer for the Elgin County 4-H. 2014-21 was donated by Cathy Cocchio. 2017-26 was donated by Cheryl Gauthier to the Elgin County Museum on August 23, 2017, and was transferred to the Elgin County Archives on the same day.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records created and maintained by both the Elgin County 4-H Association and individuals within the 4-H program. It includes the 4-H Constitution, annual reports, minutes of meetings, financial records, correspondence, lists of members, project records and workbooks done by 4-H members, newsletters, and scrapbooks.
The fonds is arranged into the following series:
St. Thomas Times-Journal articles relating to the Elgin County Court House, 1967-1984.
"Ghost story: Several unexplained at the old courthouse in St. Thomas have sent chills through many", London Free Press, April 30, 2004.
-"Lawyers demand action: End studies and start work on improving Elgin court facilities, they say", The London Free Press, July 16, 2005.
-"Courthouse rescue urged: Shmuel Farhi wants Premier McGuinty to help save the St. Thomas landmark he bought", The London Free Press, August 10, 2007.
"Elgin courthouse may get reprieve: The St. Thomas landmark is still among site being considered for the amalgamated courts", The London Free Press, October 26, 2007.
"Courthouse fight gains steam", The London Free Press, January 6, 2008.
-"Historic land office vacated for strip mall spot: Owner Shmuel Farhi is worried about building's fate", The London Free Press, June 28, 2008.
"Revamping courthouse may boost spirits: Ontario opposition leader John Tory and Mayor Cliff Barwick met to discuss plands to help offset the city's job losses", The London Free Press, October 25, 2008.
Wallacetown Women's Institute fonds - Tweedsmuir History series
1 photograph : col.
Scope and Content
Colour photograph of members of the Dutton 4-H club participating in Pitch-In Week by putting mulch in the flower beds at Caledonia Gardens, included in the Wallacetown Women's Institute Tweedsmuir History, Volume Five, page 66. Front row, left to right: Heather Bobier, Aimee Zinkan, Shannon Lunn, Amanda Jordan, Dianne Markowski, and Amy McNeill. Back row, left to right: Debbie Armstrong, leader; Kathleen Andrew (hidden), Penny McMurphy, leader; Brianne McCready, and Kristen Beattie. The club was sponsored by the Wallacetown W.I.
Clachan Women's Institute fonds - Tweedsmuir History series
3 photographs : col.
Scope and Content
Three colour photographs of a 4-H program put on by the Clachan W.I. in May, 1995, included in the Clachan Women's Institute Tweedsmuir History, Volume Two, page 31:
A display made for 4-H by the institute entitled "County Cookers" [31a]
From left are Mrs. Allan Caroll, Jennifer Fleming, Julie Nogradi, and an unidentified 4-H member demonstrating cake decorating [31b];
Watching a cake deocrating demonstration are: an unidentified 4-H member, Jennifer Fleming, Ms McPhail, unidentified, Mrs. Carroll giving the demonstration, Catherine Schneider, unidentified, Jackie Fleming, unidentified, Natalie Ford, and Marcy Ford [31c].
Prior to 1985, Homemaking and Agriculture were separate streams within 4-H. This divide was noted in the member records, with leaders and members being written under cards labelled ‘4-H Homemaking’. In cases where members participated in both agricultural and homemaking clubs, separate cards were issued for each. Post 1985, the records were all filed alphabetically, without any separation between Homemaking and Agriculture, but index cards from older years were still kept in circulation.
Scope and Content
This series consists of membership records of leaders (older members and aults tasked with running individual clubs) and members of the Elgin County 4-H Association ranging from the 1960s to 2009. It is comprised of the following records:
Leader rolls, 2003-2009
Leaders, Homemaking, c. 1970
Members, Agriculture, c. 1970-1980
Members, mixed (Homemaking and Agriculture), c. 1985